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Battle for Wesnoth

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Rating: 4.7/5 (112 votes)
Comments (25) | Views (11,418)

GriffBattle for Wesnoth is a free, open-source turn-based strategy game originally designed by David White. It's similar to games like Fire Emblem, Advance Wars and Shining Force in that each player commands an army of units, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Battles take place on a hexagonal grid and layers take turns moving armies and issuing commands.

battleforwesnoth.jpgThe first major feature that sets Battle for Wesnoth apart from the competition is the presence of simple online play. None of this joining and opening ports 2000-2500 only to find the servers are down. Instead of forcing players to host or join games, Battle for Wesnoth has its own dedicated server where anyone can play. The online experience is very easy to use and works seamlessly. Online games can even be saved and loaded at a later time, so even if someone loses their connection the battle will continue.

If you aren't into multiplayer there's a vast amount of single player gaming to be had. Whereas a typical tactics game might offer you a few campaigns, Battle for Wesnoth starts you out with no less than six. Ranging in size from a few hours to several days worth of play time, each campaign could stand alone as a game on its own. Not only that, but literally dozens more user-made campaigns can be downloaded for free right from the game's title screen. This adds near-limitless gameplay to an already robust title.

Also available for iPhone/iPod Touch:

Battle for Wesnoth is also very friendly to users who wish to create their own maps. The rich editor (included in the game) allows you to use any element you've seen in a campaign in your creation. Artistic types can grab a separate program called CampGen to make an entire campaign, including customized units!

Analysis: Coded by many different programmers and featuring community-made graphics, campaigns and music, Battle for Wesnoth shows what a collaborative effort can accomplish. It also manages to streamline a complex game genre into something casual players can enjoy. Battle for Wesnoth is free and is available for Windows, MacOS X and Linux.

Download the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the free full version

Download the free full version


First post!

I remember sending in this game a few months back. It's great to see it finally up. Out of all the open source games I've seen, this is one of my personal favorites.


Yeah, that's a good one. I played the main campaign a couple of weeks ago, t'was a lot of fun.


Woohoo, a Linux game. Yay!

I've played it, liked it, got stuck in a campaign, and gave up. Nice game, though, easy to play, hard to master, etc.


Played it a while back.

Good game, though the online community is pretty hardcore. Expect to lose a lot before you get the hang of online play.

Extreme amounts of custom content & freedom make for a solid game engine.


I'm really glad this finally got covered. There are currently some rather major bugs with the dev (1.3.10) version MP play, and so I would reccomend you tell people to get the stable (1.2.7) version if they want any MP play, until the bugs in the dev version can be completely sorted out, as currently you can't undo moves without breaking the game in MP, and you can't reload MP games. I heartily encourage people to go to the forums if they have any questions at all, we're generally a pretty forgiving community. Also remember to restart wesnoth after downloading MP addons, so it can rebuild the cache properly. Thank you.


This game looks good, if somewhat complicated but I guess that goes with the genre.

Does anybody know if there's a way to stop the map scrolling when you move the mouse to the edge of the screen? Sorry if it's deliberate but I find it immensely annoying.



Battle for Wesnoth is one of the deepest and most engaging games I have played in a long time. Each of the single player scenerios it comes with are deep and engaging.

couple of tips you have to do if you want to be successful:

Protect your upgraded guys... units close to leveling and your high level units need to be protected. its tempting to use them to wipe folks out early in a scenerio but it really hurts to loose them because you were too impatient or you get a little too agressive.

Be sure to heal up in the little huts. Managing your healing is one of the big challenges of this game.

Overall, one of the best open source games out there.


John259: To stop the map from scrolling from mouse input, go to Preferences -> Advanced -> Mouse Scrolling, and uncheck the box.


Never given it a go for long enough to finish a campaign (usually get distracted by a shiny commercial game), but for a free game, this is definitely the best turn based fantasy strategy one I've seen.


Thanks Cale, excellent! John


I don't normally like strategy (?) or tactics (?) games like this but Battle for Wesnoth is surprisingly fun and engaging! I've been playing for probably five hours straight, now.


Hokay, 1.3.11 is out, and many of the major blocks that had come up have been ironed out. It's a dev version though, so future upgrades might not be compatible, just as this won't be compatible with 1.3.10, and you'll have to get rid of all but your userdata from 1.3.10 before installing 1.3.11

Once again I heartily encourage you to check out our forums (forum.wesnoth.org) for any ideas/problems/questions you might have.

Raf Zaiman November 23, 2007 5:45 PM

Simply a great game. Has been challenging me since I started playing it.

Kyle E. Moore November 25, 2007 3:55 PM


After having played this game for about three days now, that's the first word that comes into my head followed up with a hearty, "I didn't see that coming!"

To be clear, I've always liked turn based and real time strategy games, but have never considered myself a major fan; I've never been much good at them, but Battle for Wesnoth is probably the game that has changed that all around.

It is clear from the beginning the effort and skill that was placed into this title; barring a few details the game has the polish of a professionally published and distributed game. The graphics, obviously not as flashy as what you might expect from modern commercial packages, are still smooth, beautiful, and harken back to when two dimensional games still ruled the roost. Likewise, the music, though not likely to earn a fan base that would necessitate its own CD, immediately gives you that same thrill you might get loading up Diablo, or Starcraft.

Granted, there are omissions that one would expect to be mandatory at this stage of video game development. Cut scenes, voice acting, or at a bare minimum pictorials to go along with the written narrative in the campaigns. Plus, I imagine hardcore RTS and TBS fans might find BfW to be simple, but none of these takes away significantly what really makes this game shine; gameplay.

What makes BfW a diamond in the rough is that it is that rare game that can be all things to all people. For casual gamers who don't necessarily want to spend three hours just learning the game's mechanics, BfW is a quick pick up game that can be played in fifteen to twenty minutes spurts. But for those thirsting to curl up with something deeper for hours at a time, BfW manages to pull that off with surprising grace.

At the heart of this is the game's simplicity. A cross, gameplay wise, between the old Warcraft games and Heroes of Might and Magic III, BfW picks up the streamlining of the real time strategy games, yet paces it perfectly with those of the turn based strategy games. Resource management has been stripped down to flagging villages, and making sure that your revenue stays in the green (something that can be monitored by taking half a second to look at an icon at the top). Likewise, individual character actions have been automated so that when you engage in battle, it is as simple as choosing one of at the most a handful of attacks, and the relevant information for you is easily displayed. Healing magic is automatically cast at the end of each turn, and ranges don't have to be figured out considering that all attacks must be made adjacent to the target, and are categorized into either close quarters or ranged.

Further, there is no building evolution trees to plod through, nor specific paths that must be taken if you want to recruit specific types of units. Adding to this is that within a campaign, you can carry over units who have advanced in level so that for the longer campaigns, by the time you get to the final "chapter", if you waged your battles wisely, you could have an elite army at your disposal.

The overall effect is awe inspiring. The simplicity of the game means not having to go through the build up phase of so many strategy/tactics type games, which is a boon for casual gamers, but also means that for those seeking a deep playing experience, you get to jump straight into the strategy of the game.

It is also this simplicity that allows for a variety of feelings when you play. Long drawn out battles feel like how long drawn out battles should, but without adjusting the mechanics at all, hot pursuit style missions feel just as frantic and rushed as they should.

Adding to all of this is a rich and fleshed out storyline. As mentioned above, there are some flaws to the story telling, and it takes at least a couple of campaigns to fully grasp what's going on. But once you get there, the story truly is engrossing, and will have you thinking about and anticipating the next time you have a chance to delve back into Wesnoth. What I find to be a truly enjoyable part of this is the occasional "choose your own adventure" quality of BoW where you will sometimes be asked to make a decision that can have a dramatic effect on the rest of the campaign. Opting to show mercy towards a band of brigands, for instance, will result in the woodland elves abandoning you. To this extent, BfW also shows an amazing potential for replay value in that you will want to go back and see what happens if you choose the other path.

All in all, I've already received hours of quality gameplay out of this title, more than I've received from professional titles, and enough to where I would gladly pony up some hard earned cash for the privilege to play. Luckily for all of us, Battle for Wesnoth is an absolute bargain at zero dollars and zero cents. Download and enjoy!


a) My research paper and computer networks class project? Ahahahahaha. I am so hooked.

b) Please, someone, what exactly *is* a replay? It seems to be the same as the saved version...


Dangit, I knew this would happen. I just found the controller bar at the top. Gaaah... sorry about that!


i too played.great game.simple to play and lots of scenarios can be later downloaded.
a great example to show that foss has the ability to create great software.
3 cheers 4 wesnoth and open s s ware.


This game is awesome. I've played campaigns, and hot seat gameplay, and it's awesome. My internet's been down, so I'm just about to start multiplayer. Should be fun. Most awesome free online RPG ever.


I originally downloaded BfW a few years ago simply because there weren't many games out there free for mac.

I can't put into words how much I LOVE this game. It beats games that I would have to pay for hands down!!

I'm not going to write a review - i found this site just because I am having trouble getting though 'ill tidings' and was looking for some hints.

But rest assured, anyone who is reading this... Download it. PLay it And most of all, support the developers, this game is not to be missed and deserves to be paid for!!

One of my all time favourites.


this game is quite simple yet really worth the try...
i recommend everyone who love playing tactical game to play this freeware game...


Greatest tactic game I've ever play!

Matt Gambler September 28, 2011 7:44 PM

Last comment 2 years ago, I downloaded it back then. And still sometimes I return to this gem of a game and enjoy myself. If you read this, get the game asap! Its FREE, dammit!


It's well polished, but I don't like the gameplay very much because it takes too long.


I have to admit, though, that I've played a lot more than the previous comment implies. As others have noted, it's a fun time waster.


played it and had so much fun.... heir to the throne was the first campaign i eve finished and i loved it...but the best campaigns (in my opinion) are descent into darkness (which is hard enough but is truly awesome and had some twists in it) and "under the burning suns" (which is probably the hardest campaign...but they're full of awesome twists and worth trying :)))


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